Report No. 35
Case No. 71
Khan v. The State, AIR 1955 Cal 146
(Chakravarti C.J. and P.B. Mukherjee J.)
(Judgment by Chakravarti C.J.)
Appellant K had in this case been convicted under section 302, Indian Penal Code and sentenced to death, while appellant A had been convicted under section 302 read with section 109 and sentenced to transportation for life. The trial was held in the Sessions Division of the High Court of Calcutta by S.K. Sen. J. They both appealed.
The facts were these. While the deceased was engaged in conversation with one G, the two appellants came up. The deceased told the appellants that he was having some private conversation with G and they were intruding and should move away. Appellant K said that he had no intention to do anything of the kind and challenged the deceased to do what he could.
The deceased repeated his request, but without any heed. Hence the deceased put his hand on the back of appellant K and pushed him a few cubits, whereupon appellant. A shouted out to appellant K to strike the deceased down. Appellant A also grabbed the deceased by the hands and held him fast. Appellant K whipped out a knife and inflicted several injuries on the person of the deceased, who later expired in the hospital in the night.
The High Court, while confirming the conviction, reduced the sentence on K to one of transportation for life in view of one feature of the case, "which bears very pertinently on the question of sentence and requires attention". That was this1. After the appellants had refused to quit the place, it was the deceased who first laid his hand on Appellant K and further started pushing-the pushing being of a somewhat vigorous kind. He was resisted because each was pushing the other, and it was during such affray that the knife was suddenly whipped out and steel took the place of bare hands.
"In those circumstances, it appears to me that although no sudden and grave provocation, such as would reduce the crime from murder to a lesser offence can be made out, yet there was such provocation as bears pertinently upon the question of sentence, even if the provocation might have been caused by the conduct of the first appellant himself and, therefore, might not be a lawful excuse for the act done by him". Hence the extreme penalty was not called for.
There was pushing, pushing for considerable time and pushing between men who are notoriously or excitable nature. (The Court made it clear that this did not mean that an excitable person is entitled to go about in the streets and do people to death whenever his will is opposed. In this case, the physical assault was commenced by the deceased and when the struggle grew, the fury of the first appellant fanned by the second appellant rose). Hence the sentence on first appellant K was reduced. (The sentence on the other appellant was maintained).
1. See para. 29 in the AIR.
Case No. 72
Shivrudrappa v. State, AIR 1955 NUC Bom 2977C
(Dixit and Gokhale JJ.)
Youth by itself is not a sufficient reason for imposing the lesser penalty for murder1.
1. See to the same effect-Prodyot Kumar v. Emp., AIR 1933 Cal 1 (FB), "under age". Exact age not mentioned in judgment).
Case No. 73
Sabir v. State, AIR 1955 NUC All 2279.
(Beg and Chowdhry JJ.)
Accused being only 22 years old is no reason to award lesser punishment.
Case No. 74
State v. Namdeo, AIR 1955 NUC Bom 4251
(Chainani and Gokhale JJ.)
This was a case of an attack which resulted in four murders and severe injuries to six others. Numerous assailants took part in the attack, but it was difficult to attribute any particular fatal injuries to any particular accused. Court refrained from imposing death sentence.
Case No. 75
Nathu Lal v. State, AIR 1955 NUC All-2289
(Agarwala and Roy JJ.)
That the accused was drawn into the murder as a birelling is no extenuating circumstance.